Editing & Proofreading ... The Importance of Proofreading!e sentences below come from actual letters

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  • Editing & Proofreading

    For Orange County Government

    Facilitated by Chris Friend The John Scott Dailey

    Florida Institute of Government at the University of Central Florida

  • Meet Your Facilitator Christopher R. Friend has taught Freshman English in Seminole County Public Schools since 2000. His current endeavors involve

    completing the Texts & Technology PhD program at UCF, as well as teaching online with Seminole County Virtual School (fulfilling a

    dream of combining teaching and computing, all without having to leave his house). He expects to earn his degree in 2013 by re- searching the use of technology to improve student learning

    across various learning styles.

    While in class, he is often caught laughing, most often at himself.

    He is typically found using some kind of technology; he experi- ences withdrawal pains when more than thirty feet away from his MacBook Pro. To express his musical side, he participates as a

    choir member in the Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir Program at Walt Disney World, and he is a proud alumnus of the

    UCF Marching Knights, reprising his role as a mellophone player one day a year at the UCF homecoming football game.

    CREDENTIALS

    • UCF Trustees Doctoral Fellow, 2009

    • MEd—Curriculum & Instruction (Gifted Ed) | UCF 2006

    • BA—English (Creative Writing) | UCF 2000

    • Secondary English Education Certification | FLDOE 2000

    • Computer Science K–12 Certification | FLDOE 2008

    • Gifted Endorsement | FLDOE 2008

    ABOUT THE INSTITUTE The John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of

    Government (IOG) at the University of Cen-

    tral Florida is one of six university locations

    of the statewide institute. The IOG mission

    is to provide training and technical assis-

    tance to local governments, state agencies,

    and non-profit organizations.

    Located in Research Park in East Orlando,

    the Institute of Government is administered

    in the UCF College of Health and Public

    Affairs. The UCF IOG has served Central

    Florida government and non-profit agen-

    cies since 1982, and has been directed by

    Marilyn Crotty since 1990.

    Contact us at by phone at 407–882–3960

    and by email at iog@mail.ucf.edu, or visit

    us online at www.iog.ucf.edu.

    Services offered to government and non-

    profit agencies include:

    • Training Programs

    • Technical Assistance

    • Organizational Development

    • F.A.C.E.

    Popular workshop topics include:

    • 21 Laws of Leadership

    • Supervisory Skills Series

    • Leading Change

    • Emotional Intelligence

    • Self-Awareness with the Myers-

    Briggs Type Indicator

    • Conflict Resolution with the Tho-

    mas Kilmann Instrument

    • Written Communication Series

    • Emerging Leader

    • Strategic Planning & Visioning

    • Business/Office Etiquette

  • The Importance of Proofreading !e sentences below come from actual letters received by a welfare department in Pennsylvania and a school district in California. !ese examples show why we should carefully check what we write.

    1. I am forwarding you my marriage certi"cates and six children. I have seven, but one died

    when he was baptized on a half sheet of paper.

    2. I am writing the Welfare Department to say that my baby was born two years old. When

    do I get my money?

    3. Mrs. Jones has not had any clothes for a year and has been visited regularly by the clergy.

    4. I cannot get sick pay. I have six children, can you tell me why?

    5. !is is my sixth child, what are you going to do about it?

    6. You have changed my little boy to a girl. Will this make any di#erence?

    7. I was very much annoyed to "nd you have branded my son illiterate. !is is a dirty lie as I

    was married a week before he was born.

    8. Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

    9. Please excuse Sue from class. Yesterday she fell out of a tree and misplaced her hip.

    Proofreading Pre-Test !e necessity of training farmhands for "rst-class farms in the fatherly handling of farm

    livestock is foremost in the minds of farm owners. Since the forefathers of the farm

    owners trained the farmhands for the first-class farms in the fatherly handling of farm livestock,

    the farm owners feel they should carry on with the family tradition of training farmhands of

    first-class farms in the fatherly handling of farm livestock because they believe it is the

    basis of good fundamental farm management.

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    Editing & Proofreading Florida Institute of Government

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  • Guidelines for Successful Proofreading How do you handle your proofreading? Are you one of those “Oh, I didn’t notice that mistake” peo- ple? Responsibility for content usually rests with the writer; responsibility for error-free copy usually rests with the person doing the typing. If you "nd proofreading a hard part of your job, here are some suggestions to make the task more bearable.

    !e kind of material you must proofread determines the proofreading technique to use. Is it a legal description of a plot of land or a memo to a department head down the hall? a letter, 5000 copies of which are going into citizens’ utility bills? a set of notes for the boss’s speech tonight?

    the annual department budget with column upon column of million-dollar "gures, and now you face the tedious task of being sure that every number is correct?

    General questions to consider before proofreading: How important is the document?

    Does it warrant the attention of a pair of proofreaders? Does it need only a quick scan?

    How essential is accuracy in the opinion of your supervisor? How much time is available for proofreading?

    What is your own feeling about mistakes? Who will be seeing this? (How widespread is the potential damage?)

    What is your department policy about error-free copy?

    How much time will readers spend with the material?

    !ings you can do while proofreading your material:

    First use your computer’s spell check and grammar check. Studies show, however, that these tools, while helpful, are not perfect. !e "ve steps in the next section are an e#ective technique of proof- reading that involves reading every word carefully several times. For most proofreaders, just one read- ing is not enough to ensure error-free copy. !erefore, proofread in planned stages involving several readings, each one focused on a speci"c area, in the order listed on the next page.

    Editing & Proofreading Florida Institute of Government

    4

  • The Proofreading Process 1. Sense and Completeness

    Look for major twists or omissions in this "rst reading, such as missing words, contorted, incom- plete, or nonsense sentences, out-of-place paragraphs, or even entire omitted or unnecessary sec- tions. As you read, don’t worry about the look of the text. Instead, ask yourself, “Do these ideas make sense?” !e less you focus on writing detail here, the better. Your goal on this read is to pay attention to the meaning, not the content.

    2. Grammar and Usage

    !is time through, look at each sentence as a whole. Rather than looking for misunderstood parts of the thinking, check the phrasing and word choice in each sentence. If you always got in trouble in school for a particular error (sentence fragments, subject/verb agreement, etc.), keep that ten- dency in mind. On this read, work sentence-by-sentence to ensure your writing style is clear.

    If you are typing for someone else, you may need to consult with the original author on matters of usage, phrasing, or word choice. Only you can know how much $exibility you have in typing someone else’s words; however, if you’re ever in doubt, consult with the author. Attention to de- tail is o%en seen as a skill, not an annoyance.

    3. Spelling and Typographical Errors

    Look for misspelled words, improper endings of words, plus transposed numbers/letters/words. On this read, your focus now moves to the word-by-word level of detail. Question tricky spelling or frequently confused words. If you’re unsure of yourself, look it up! Again, knowing your own trouble spots can help you pay more attention to what’s likely to need "xing.

    4. Reading Backwards

    !is sounds crazy until you try it. Obviously, it works best for short material, since reading long passages in reverse will make you crazy. !e material will not make sense, but reading backward allows you to focus on spelling and repetition. It might suprise you how many litle errorrs can be be skipped over when reading quickly. Re-read that sentence backward to see what you notice.

    5. Capitalization and Punctuation

    Focus on letters not capitalized (scan for periods and check the letters a%er them) and capitals which should be lowercase. Double-check acronyms for accuracy. Check for missing punctuation, such as hyphens. Check for extra spaces or unnecessary punctuation, such as commas. Now that the words have all settled into their "nal places, you can look for the marks that connect them. !is last read-through adds the polish to your masterpiece so you’re sure everything is set.

    When you use this "ve-step method, you are more likely to produce error-free copy. Train yourself to perform all "ve readings and to read only for the